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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

vii   CHURCH OF THE THEOTOKOS PAMMAKARISTOS   143
was in his favour, otherwise he would resign office. The public feeling against Andronicus was so strong that he deemed it expedient to comply with this strange demand, going to the monastery late at night to escape notice. The tribunal having been called to order, Cosmas produced his charges against the emperor : the Servian marriage ; oppressive taxes upon salt and other necessaries of life, whereby a heavy burden was laid upon the poor, on one hand, and imperial prodigality was encouraged on the other ; failure to treat the petitions addressed to him by Cosmas with the consideration which they deserved. The defence of Andronicus was skilful. He maintained that no marriage of the Kraal had violated Canon Law as some persons claimed. He touched the feelings of his audience by dwelling upon the sacrifice he had made as a father in bestowing the hand of a beloved daughter on such a man as the Servian Prince ; only reasons of State had constrained him to sanction a union so painful to his heart. The taxes to which objection had been taken were not imposed, he pleaded, to gratify any personal love of money, but were demanded by the needs of the Empire. As to love of money, he had reasons to believe that it was a weakness of which his accuser was guilty, and to prove that statement, he there and then sent two members of the court to the treasurer of the palace for evidence in support of the charge. In regard to the accusation that he did not always favour the petitions addressed to him by the patriarch, he remarked that it was not an emperor's duty to grant all the petitions he received, but to discriminate between them according to their merits. At the same time he expressed his readiness to be more indulgent in the future. Moved by these explanations, as well as by the entreaties of the emperor and the bishops present at this strange scene, held in the dead of night in the secrecy of the monastery, Cosmas relented, and returned next day to the patriarchate.1
But peace between the two parties was not of long duration. Only a few weeks later Andronicus restored to office a bishop of Ephesus who had been canonically deposed. Cosmas
1 P?chym. ii. pp. 292-98.